Thursday 26 June 2014

Broody Squid

Bathyteuthis berryi
A deep sea squid called Bathyteuthis berryi has been spotted sprinkling fairy dust!

Oh, wait. Those are her eggs.

Gonatus onyx
It's a big issue for deep sea squid. Their relatives up near the surface attach their eggs to the sea floor and depart, leaving their offspring to get on with it.

That's not easy to do when you live far from the ocean floor.

Gonatus onyx
In 2002, a species called Gonatus onyx was spotted carrying a gelatinous mass full of eggs in her tentacles. We last saw G. onyx very slowly decapitating an Owlfish, but in less violent times she may have her tentacles full with up to 3,000 eggs!

It was the first time a squid was seen caring for their young in any way. The question was, do any others do the same?

Enter Bathyteuthis berryi. Isn't that the most infernal picture you've ever seen?


But it turns out she too gives her young a good start in life.

Video: MBARI

She's been seen brooding about 360 of her precious darlings in sheets of gelatinous material. It weighs her down such that she can't escape predators as easily, but these are the sacrifices you make when you don't glue your children to a rock.

The question now is: just how many squid do this? Perhaps it's quite common and submersibles simply haven't been in the right place at the right time to see it.

Oh, and here's a random, weird-looking squid from the video. Lanky, transparent and a loooooong tail. What a beauty!


Crunchy said...

She looks like she's stumbling home after Marti Gras!

Joseph JG said...

Ha! Well you need SOME kind of entertainment in the abyss!

TexWisGirl said...

nice 'veil'. :)

Joseph JG said...

Ha! Yes! :D